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Robin Robinson - Citizen Columnist

Plants are true globalists

Florida places plants into three categories: native, exotic and invasive. It defines as native any plant that got here on its own. Plants cannot walk, so the clever vegetable world creates other methods of moving. Those methods include wind, water, animals, birds and often humans to spread their oh-so moveable[…]

Sneaky denizens of the jungle

In the Florida Keys, the best way to treat an orchid is to tie it to the upper branches of a tree that has many crevices in its bark. Use a black zip tie or two to hold it firmly. The lady does not like to wiggle in the wind.[…]

Bridal wreath weds fragrance, happiness

“June is busting out all over” and weddings are gracing Key West’s beaches. Crowds, each person 6 feet apart, on our vast, windy beaches seem ideal for a barefoot bride and groom. Stephanotis floribunda, or bridal wreath, don’t wilt so they will stay fresh during the long hours of a[…]

What’s up, buttercup?

Cuban buttercup is also known as ramgoat dashalong and yellow alder. It’s brilliant yellow is a color for the Keys and dresses the beaches and roadsides in its colorful hues. But don’t think of it as an exquisite orchid. It is more like a yellow cotton dress for the grocery[…]

Like people, plants deal with viruses

Just like people, plants get sick with viruses. Doctors check humans for symptoms; gardeners check plants in the same way. They check for rashes on the skin. Some plants will get yellow spots on their leaves; others will curl up. Each disease has its own calling card. If a gardener[…]

Shapes in the night

My sister decided to renew her wedding vows with her husband of 20 years and told me that the color used would be glorious green. A quick check through my closet for a Moline, Illinois, matron of honor outfit in emerald green was unsuccessful. I found a slinky green spaghetti[…]

Celebrate the magic of dogwood

“It’s May, it’s May, the merry month of May.” And that means that the pale pink blossoms of the Jamaican dogwood tree burst into glorious bloom and cover the branches with a pink powder puff that stands out against the dark background. Driving along U.S. 1, these trees have self-seeded[…]